One of the things that is very confusing for stock market beginners is how to choose an online discount stock broker. If you go to Google and search for them, there are dozens that come up. If you watch the television business news, you will see many of them advertise. How can you possibly know which one is right for you?
There are subtle differences between these discount stock brokers but for the beginner, most of these differences are not important. It is unlikely that you will ever need some of the services and differences that they offer, at least not for a while. Stock market beginners need to keep things simple which means finding an online broker that has a good, clean, easy to understand and navigate website as well as competitive prices.
You will be protected equally by law no matter which online stock broker you choose. Your accounts will be guaranteed up to $250,000.00 (just up from $100,000.00) and everything else that is basic will be virtually the same. You may find differences in prices as some offer trades as low as $4.95 while others may charge $9.95 or $12.95. Just because one online stock broker is cheaper doesn't mean it is any less reputable than another that charges more.
One thing to look out for is hidden fees. Stock market dummies as well as seasoned traders always need to read the fine print. Hidden fees and miscellaneous charges are tactics used by some of the discount stock brokers to raise their bottom line. Other differences may include things like being able to write checks from your account, short trading, and free trades if your order is not executed within a certain time period.
A big difference between each online discount stock broker is the website layout. Each company will of course use it's own software and some are more easy to understand and navigate than others. For instance, I love the E*Trade website as it is so easy to find your way around and find the information you need. The H&R Block website, on the other hand, seems archaic compared to E*Trade's and I always get irritated when I go on it as it will not allow me to easily find certain things. Unfortunately, you may not be able to fully test the website of a prospective stock broker before you open an account.
There is no right or wrong way of how to choose a discount stock broker. If you are a stock market beginner you will probably want to start with one of the better known ones who fall on this list:
T. Rowe Price
One of the things that is very confusing for stock market beginners is how to choose an online discount stock broker. If you go to Google and search for them, there are dozens that come up. If you watch the television business news, you will see many of them advertise. How can you possibly know which one is right for you?
What are stock dividends? In this time of market crisis and uncertainty in 2008 – 2009, many stock experts are suggesting buying stocks with dividends and holding them until there is a recovery. One of the reasons for this is because it is difficult to find an alternative such as a high yield certificate of deposit. At least with a stock that pays a dividend, you are getting a small return with the hope that the stock will go up when things get better.
Not all stocks pay a dividend and most that do are under 1%. With some careful research though, you can find stocks that pay a higher dividend. What the stock gurus are saying is that you might find stocks that pay a reasonable dividend and buy those instead of stocks without dividends.
A company stock may pay a dividend for many reasons but the most common one is that they want to return something to their investors. Some companies, like Microsoft, may have a lot of cash and decide to give some of it to their investors in the form of a dividend. Other companies might need all their cash for research and development and not pay a dividend. Tech stocks are notorious for not paying out dividends.
No stock dividend is guaranteed safe. Any time a company gets in trouble, the first place they go the cut costs is their dividend if they have one. Therefore, even if you find a stock with a great paying dividend, you cannot buy that stock and be able to count on it. Especially now in these troubled times, stock dividends are in trouble across the board.
Some dividends are safer than others because of the financial position of the company. If a company is doing well, the dividend is probably safe and will not be reduced. Companies like to have a record of increasing their stock dividends but this is not always possible, especially in dire times like these. The stock market for beginners is now a rough place to get started but buying stocks with dividends is a good place to start. You need to do the research and find out what companies are doing all right and pay a nice healthy dividend. If you buy this type of stock, even if it goes down the dividend minimizes the losses.
Stock Market beginners may wonder what capital gains taxes are and why Barack Obama is going to raise them. First of all, capital gains taxes are those that must be paid on any stock you sell for a profit. If you buy a stock and are fortunate to sell it at a later date for more than you bought it, you will have to pay capital gains taxes.
Capital gains taxes are at a different rate (usually higher) than other taxes because politicians in Washington can get away with it. Politicians on both sides want your money and they will tax you on anything they can. Unfortunately, not that many people own stocks or have enough money to own stocks and that is why there is no outcry from the common man about capital gains taxes. If everyone owned stocks and had to pay that tax when they made money, it would be much harder for sneaky and dishonest politicians to raise the capital gains tax.
Barack Obama has made it very clear that he will raise capital gains taxes. Like every Democrat, he wants your money and he has no sympathy for anyone who works hard and has money to invest. His belief is that if you have money to buy stocks with, you must have too much money. Barack Obama is going to raise taxes on capital gains and then in the next sentence will tell you that your taxes are not going up.
Barack Obama and all politicians are liars. He has said that he will not raise taxes on anyone who makes over $150,000.00 per year and yet he has made it clear that he will raise capital gains taxes. He hopes that you are not listening carefully and are a stock market dummy and too stupid to understand that by raising the capital gains tax, he is raising EVERYONES tax who owns stock. Everyone in America who owns stock and now pay more tax than before Barak Obama was elected. Geez, we are not all stupid dummies you know, Barack.
If you want to learn how to buy and sell stocks for beginners, there is a lot to learn. Actually, the buying and selling part is not to hard but deciding what to buy and when to sell it is the hard part.
Buying and selling stocks for dummies is sort of like gambling. In fact, many people have lost way more in the stock market than they have at the Blackjack table. With this stock market sell off and panic of 2008, people have lost trillions of dollars combined. Retirement accounts and savings have nearly been cut in half in some cases. The baby boomers are in big trouble right now because they are all set to retire soon and now many of them are facing a situation where they may not be able to retire. It is very sad, really.
I mentioned this because learning how to buy stocks and sell stocks for beginners is not a guarantee that you will make money. You must understand that before you learn how to invest your money in the stock market. In fact, you should never have money in stocks that you cannot afford to lose. If you are saving money to buy a house, you might be inclined to invest it in stocks in hopes that it will go up faster. But it can go down fast too as we have just seen these last two months and so that kind of money should NOT be in stocks.
If you have money you know you will need soon, you should put it in a bank CD or government T-bills. That way you know the money will be there when you need it. Yes, the interest on that money may not be much right now but it is guaranteed. And guaranteed is a good thing because no investment in stocks is ever guaranteed. If you were to invest your money that you need in stocks and they were to go down, you might feel like a dummy. Be smart and put the money you absolutely need in safe investment vehicles where you cannot lose it.
So, this all comes back to how to buy and sell stocks for beginners. It is not hard as all you need is an online stock account with any of the brokers. You can see their ads all over the Internet so pick one as there is really no big difference. They will all say they are the best and maybe some are a little better in some ways than others but they pretty much all offer the same things. You can go with one of the cheapest online trading sites or a slightly more expensive one. Eitehr way, your money will be guaranteed with each of them up to $250,000 (this is in case the broker you choose goes bankrupt and not the stocks you choose to buy through them). Each of them have different online software so the main difference would be there: how easy their site is to navigate and understand.
Once you sign up to your online broker you need to send them money. Usually this is done by a paper check. Send them your money by writing a check and when they receive it you will see it in your account and you are ready to go. You can then buy any stock you want when the market is open by pushing a few buttons.
Likewise, you can sell any stock while the market is open with a push of a few computer buttons as well. Technically, it is very easy to learn how to buy stocks for beginners or anyone online. The hard part is learning how to choose what stocks you want to buy and then deciding when to sell them. It may take years or maybe even a lifetime to understand the fundamentals of stocks and how to choose the best stocks for your goals. Good luck!
All the business TV's shows have a stock ticker but it is always 20 minutes delayed. If you go online to MSN, AOL, or any other popular service the stock quotes and stock ticker are also delayed. Even if you sign up and open an account with a major broker, the quotes you get online are 20 minutes delayed.
Where do you find a downloadable application that will put a real time free desktop stock ticker on your computer? Stock tickers are very cool looking and to have one on your computer desktop would be very handy, especially now with the stock market being so volitile. There can be 100 to 200 point swings in just minutes and stocks go up and down like yo-yo's. Being able to get real time quotes is very important right now and without them you feel more and more like a stock market dummy than ever before.
With all the major brockerage account services you have to sign up, deposit money, and then make a special request to get real time quotes. It is a pain to have to do all that but real time quotes are a necessity in panic market. Having a free real time stock ticker on your desktop would make things a whole lot easier. In order for it to work you would have to, of course, be constantly connected to the Internet but most computers are now days.
If you look online for a free real time desktop stock ticker all you can find is something like the picture below. Not only is that not real time but it is not really a ticker. I am talking about a stock ticker like you see on TV that goes across the screen in real time. This kind of ticker is always up to date and gives you stock quotes that are accurate to the second. There is almost anything imaginable on the Internet and I find it hard to believe that one can't find such a free stock ticker for thier desktop. If you know where to find one, please leave a comment and let us know where it can be found.
Before you run out and buy stock in this bear market, you had better know what your risk tolerance is. There are a lot of stock market beginners that are now suddenly interested in the stock market due to this panic sell off and it being in the news everyday. This has prompted many people who have never invested in stocks to suddenly be interested in how to buy stocks.
What is risk tolerance for dummies and how does it pertain to you? When you buy a stock you need to know why you are buying the stock, what you are hoping it will do, and just how low you are willing to let it go before you decide to sell. Now, of course, everyone hopes the stocks they buy will go up and they will never be faced with the grim decision of when to sell a loser. But in this market right now, most of us are faced with steep losses.
Risk tolerance is your ability to stand pain: in this case financial pain. Every one of us invests for different reasons and with a different time horizon. For instance, if you are in your 20's you have a lot longer time horizon to ride a bad market out than someone in their 70's. In fact, someone in their 70's might not want to be invested in stocks at all because they will not be working and may need the money any day or year.
Additionally, not every one has the same inner strength and the ability to take financial losses. Some of us have a very low risk tolerance meaning if their stocks go down they lose sleep, worry a lot, and let it affect their every day life. If this sounds like it may be you, then you as a stock market beginner needs to know that when you buy stocks, you can lose everything. It may be hard for you to see your hard earned money become much less while you sit and watch. In this panic market right now especially, this is a very probable result at least in the short term.
On the other hand, if you feel you have a strong stomach and can take the day to day ups and downs of this volitile market, then perhaps you have a higher risk tolerance. It is important to note for any stock market beginner or dummy that it might seem easier said than done to sit and watch your money go down. If you have never invested before and are wanting only now to learn how to buy stock and invest because of what you see going on, you might think you have a high risk tolerance but when you actually do it you might find otherwise. Sitting on the sidelines it is easy to say you have a strong stomach for losses but when you actually buy stock you might find it is not as easy to watch your stock investments go down.
The stock market is going up and down now like a yo-yo on an hourly basis. Right now is not the time to buy stocks as everything is just too uncertain. The way things are right now, the market can easily go up or down 500 or more points any day and that is just too risky to be buying stocks.
Around October 23rd is when the financial and insurance companies are going to know for sure how much of the Lehman brothers 400 billion they are individually going to be responsible for. At that time, there will be a little more certainty and a rally might be in sight. The market often rallies at the end of October as well so that looks like the time with the best chance to get a rally.
What stocks do you buy if a rally occurs and do you hold them long or short term? Unfortunately, if we get a 20% or so bounce there are going to be a lot of sellers as there are many people right now that would gladly sell many of their stocks right now for 20% more than they are worth. So short term might be the way to go.
But as for what stocks to buy when the market is low is anybody's call. Maybe you should look at some of the stock picker ads and find out what the experts are saying. Whatever they say, they could be wrong or they could be right.
How do you find hot stocks? Or do you even try? The problem with the stock market is that everyone has an opinion. There are several channels on cable TV now that are devoted just to business and they continually have segments on where they interview analysts. These stock analysts always have their hot stock picks, tips, and market predictions and they can sound so very convincing. Stock market beginners will easily get sucked in with all this positivity.
Many times when you watch FOX Business or MS NBC, the stock gurus are asked about a list of stocks. It seems that very rarely do these "experts" say that you should sell a stock or not buy it. If you listen to these guys on a daily basis you will get the impression that the stock market is always just about ready to soar. Of course there are exceptions and not every analyst is that way but in my opinion most of them are usually positive in their stock market predictions.
Why are these stock experts, hedge fund managers, and guest hosts always so positive about stocks and the stock market? It is like they are pitchmen for the Dow and NASDAQ and trying to sell a product. In their case the product is the stock market and they want you to get involved and start buying stocks. If they can continually paint stocks in a positive light then there will be more business for them from all the stock market dummies.
If you are a beginner and want to learn how to buy stocks and how the stock market works, perhaps it is best not to listen to these financial shows that tout theirs stock tips of the day and hot stocks ready to soar. If you listen to these stock gurus all the time, you may get the idea that it is easy to make money in stocks. If you pick the right stocks and have good market timing it is, but not many can do that and especially someone who is in the stock market for beginners.
Get Started Buying Stocks By Opening A Broker Account
TradeKing (now Ally Invest) offers very low trading fees of just $4.95 per trade and they get great reviews year after year from customers and financial publications. Why pay double the fees (like many other brokers charge) when you can get the same safety and stock trading experience with TradeKing?
However, there are many other brokers you can choose from and I have listed 8 others that you might also consider. Each of these charges between $5 and $10 per trade and they are all reliable and safe:
1) TradeKing (low $4.95 per trade)
4) TD Ameritrade
7) Merrill Edge
9) Charles Schwab
How To Pick A Stock To Buy
Once you open your stock account, you need to put money in the account. You can do this by sending a check or by transferring money online from your bank. Either way is okay and the only drawback of the check is that it will take longer.
When the money makes it into your account you can then start buying stocks!
The question is though, which stock or stocks should you buy first?
Unfortunately THAT is the question that only you can answer. It is your money and you must be prepared to make the decisions on how to invest it. You can listen to the stock analysts and pundits but remember, they are only giving their opinion. Listening to them can result in you losing money.
It is best if you start slowly and NEVER put all your money in one stock. Ideally you should have no more than 5% of your money in any one stock but that may be hard to do right away. Your goal should be to find solid companies in different industries to invest in which will effectively reduce your risk to any one business sector.
Stick With It And Keep Investing
It is important that everyone learn how to buy stocks and participate in the market so that they will be able to get bigger returns than they could through investing in CD's and things that only give you simple interest (which is near 0% right now).
Most anyone can figure out how invest in stocks. It certainly doesn't take a degree or any specialized training to figure out how. The media might make it sound harder than it is but in reality, all it takes is a commitment to learn over the many weeks, months, and years of your investing career.
Right now, anyone who is in the stock market might be sitting on some big losses. In fact. probably almost everyone who owns individual stocks or is in mutual funds has huge losses right now in 2008. This is a big barrier for stock market beginners and dummies and it makes them wonder whether the stock market is worth learning. If you have all your money in an IRA then you will have the same big losses but at least you wont have to mess around with your taxes yet.
There is a $3000 maximum loss that you can declare every year on your taxes for stocks. $3000 is hardly anything in today's economy and so most people are going to have to carry over their losses for many years to come. What a pain in the ass....thanks, you slimey polititions in Washington.
Everyday lately I sign on to my computer to see how much I lost that day. It used to be how much I made, then it went to maybe I made money or maybe I lost, and now it is always how much I lost everyday in stocks. Huge stock market losses are enough to make people sick and it is hard to put everything into perspective.
How do you deal with losing a months pay in one day in the stock market? Depending how much money you have in the stock market, there may be days where you lose way more than a day's pay. Everyone is always trying to find the hot stock and there are always stock market gurus and analysts who will sell you their "hot stocks of the day". When the market is down big like it is now though, there aren't a whole lot of super hot stocks. Everyone is losing money.
In order to deal with huge losses in stocks, one really has to learn how to compartmentalize things. The stock market is the stock market, work is work, your family is your family, life is life, etc. They are not related. Also a little recession humor goes a long way to with helping out your disposition. If you are properly diversified then these big stock market losses will not effect you as much. Everyone needs to learn how to diversify, especially stock market beginners.
If you are asking the question "is now the time to buy stocks" then you might also be asking "is now the time to buy real estate". Look how much both the stock market and real estate market has gone down just in the last 3 months. If you have cash right now, you are in a great position to profit.
The reason (well one of the reasons) we are in this mess in the first place is that so many people are in debt. People have been living a lie and living well above their means. Just because someone is living in a million dollar house does not mean that they have money or are rich. They could be deep in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy and you would never know it. People have been buying houses that they cannot afford and assuming that their value would go up. As long as the value of their house continued to go up they were fine because they could alway refinance.
Are you someone who is in debt? If you are then you are in trouble right now because you are not going to be able to acquire more debt to pay off your old debt. Some people keep on getting new credit cards to pay off the old credit card bills and continue to go into more and more debt. If that sounds like you then I am afraid you are part of the problem.
What if you lose or have lost your job? Many people are losing their jobs right now because of this mess and they are already in debt or have little savings. What are they going to do now with no job. With no job they can't afford to pay their mortgage and might lose their house. Since house values have gone down they don't really want to sell because they will have a "loss" from what they could have gotten a year or two ago. Maybe there will be no one willing to buy the house anyway. If they can't or don't want to sell their house to downsize and they can't get new credit to pay the mortgage, what are they going to do?
What does all this have to do with the stock market you ask? Nothing other than most people who have no savings or are in debt will not be able to take advantage of the beaten down stock market and profit from it when it explodes back up. Maybe the stock market will never "explode" but you can be sure that sometime it will start to go up again. It doesn't matter whether you are a seasoned stock proffessional or a stock market dummy or beginner, one thing is for sure, if you have no cash then you can't invest and play the game.
Is right now a good time to get into the stock market? Maybe or maybe not. Today might or might not be the bottom of the market and of course no one can see the future. One thing is for sure and that is that it is a better time to invest now than it was 3 months ago. It is always better to buy stocks when they are low than when they are high as they have more room for growth.
Right now there is a lot of fear and panic in the market. People are scared to buy stock and they are selling and over selling stocks. The stock market for beginners is a scary place and many people are scared into selling. If you can find stocks that are oversold then now is a great time to buy stock. There is no guarantee any stock will not go down further but it has to be getting somewhere near the bottom.
This type of housing and stock crises does not happen everyday. Many people will lose and have already lost fortunes. But these kinds of dark times are not bad for everyone. It is in times like these that you can find great buying opportunities and make a killing. If you have the nerve to do the opposite of what everyone else is doing, in this case buy when they are selling, at some point you will start to profit. The trick is trying to determine when the bottom is near. Most people live their life looking back and saying "what if I only knew". It will happen in this 2008 market meltdown as well. At some point stocks will rise again and if you are not on board you will be left looking back and saying "what if".
This does not mean that every stock will be a good buy. Another reason we are in this mess is that companies are going bankrupt. Companies that go bankrupt or are on the verge of going bankrupt are not "good buys". The trick is finding good stocks that are too low because they have been oversold because of the stock market panic. Stocks for beginners are going to be hardpressed to choose the right ones.
It is best in times like these to find someone who knows what they are doing and is a good conservative investor. You need to find someone to bounce stock ideas off of and someone who knows the stock market environment. One of these people might be Jim Cramer and you can get a free two week sign up for his newsletter that will give you all his stock picks before he actually makes the trades. Will he guarantee every stock he picks to be a winner. No he won't and can't because no one can see the future. But he may be able to give you an idea of what stocks to be looking at to start buying.
The stock market goes up big one day and down big the next and right now is a very volitile time in the market. At some point it will be a good time to get into the stock market and it might be very close right now. On thing is for sure. It is a great time to start looking at and analyzing different stocks and start trying to figure out which ones might be undervalued. If you are not in debt and have cash on the sidelines, this buying opportunity is what you have been waiting for. Take advantage of your cash position and learn how to buy stocks for beginners to get in some stocks at a low price so you can profit in the future.
Are you trying to find stocks that are ready to explode? The stock market is way down right now and anyone who can figure out which stocks to buy today may make a nice gain. History shows that buying stocks when they are at their lows is the real way to make money in the stock market.
How do you figure out which stocks are set to explode? One way is this free offer Get free stock alerts from Jim Cramer at TheStreet.com. You can gain full access to Jim Cramer's $3 MM Personal Portfolio — and you will be emailed before he makes a trade!
Managing money is hard especially for stock market beginners. But, Jim Cramer is so committed to helping people learn that he created a charitable trust portfolio to show investors how and why he makes trades. For over 10 years Jim Cramer was a successful hedge fund manager and now he writes for RealMoney.com. Over the years he has developed a strict set of investing disciplines that have helped all kinds of people be successful through any market.
If you want to know what stocks a real pro is going to buy before he does it, this offer is for you. You can get a 14 day free trial and now is the time to sign up to see how Jim Cramer is going to take advantage of this stock market panic to make money. This is where the real stock market professionals separate themselves from the stock market for beginners. This is where the real investors make their stock market fortunes at times where the stock market is tanking. You need to know what they are buying right now that will explode later for nice double digit gains.
Buy and hold used to be the way to go in the stock market. Buy a good solid stock, hold it for five, ten, even twenty years and you would show a profit. The stock market seemed to go up slowly but steadily. Don't gamble on stock's the gurus said, INVEST in them.
Does the buy and hold stock strategy work in 2008? In fact, has it worked at all in the last ten years or so? Stocks strategies for beginners is one of the most difficult things to get a grasp of. Buying a stock is easy, you just go online, click a few buttons, and you have bought your stock. When you should sell that stock, however, is always the hardest decision.
Stocks seem to fluctuate more now than they did years ago. With the advent of the Internet and day trading, so many dummies and beginners have come into the market who really aren't investors. They are traders trying to make a quick buck and it is almost like they think they are playing a video game. These stock day traders are in and out of stocks so fast it can make your head spin. They are in fact the opposite of the buy and hold investor.
In addition to the online day traders, there have been big events like 9/11, Enron, and other big companies going bankrupt and having shady dealings. These events all work to take down the stock market in days. They undo years of steady progress and in weeks take down the stock market to levels it was years ago.
Buying and holding used to be sound stock investment strategy. You could put your money away in a group of stocks and be reasonably confident you would get back more in many years time. There was no real need to keep up daily with the stock market news because you could feel confident over time your stocks would go up. Is this true today? I think not and this is why it is harder now for beginner stock investors to understand the market and get started investing. The stock market for dummies has gotten more difficult to negotiate the ups and downs.
The SEC today (September 19, 2008),banned the short selling of stock of 799 financial companies through October 2. I think they will extend the band much longer than that perhaps until after the election in an effort to make sure the market is given the best chance of being stable.
What is stock market short selling? How do you short sell a stock? Shorting a stock is the opposite of buying the stock. When you decide to short a stock you do it because you think the stock price of that stock is going to go down. What happens is this: a stock market investor who sells a stock short borrows shares from a brokerage house in order to sell those shared to another investor. Proceeds from the sale go into the shorter's account but he must buy those shares back at some point in time and return them to the lender. When you buy the shares back it is called "covering".
Short selling stocks is not a strategy stock market for beginners should use. Only investors who know what they are doing should ever attempt this because you can theoretically lose more than when you just buy a stock. When you invest in a stock, the most you can lose is what you have invested and the stock would have to go to zero for that to happen. However, when you short selling a stock, the stock could go up and up and never stop. The more it goes up the more you lose so there is no limit to how much you could lose when you short a stock.
9/29/08 Update: Another big panic today with the Dow closing down 777 for its biggest one day drop EVER! There is fear absolutely everywhere!
The stock market is at a two year low right now and there has been nothing but pain this year. Yesterday the US Dow Jones went down over 500 points which was it's biggest drop since 9/11 and it has transfered over to the International markets as well.
There is no doubt that this stock market panic is the real thing as company after company comes in with low earings or warnings about slowdowns and lower earnings to come. As I right this, the market has come back a little as it was down over 130 but is now up 50 points or so.
If you sell now in September 2008 you will be part of the panic and contributing to it. You will probably be getting the lowest price for your stock as many stocks are at a 52 week low. However, if you don't sell, things might get worse and you may lose more money. It seems selling could be wrong and holding could be wrong. Alas, these are difficult times for stock market beginners and veterans alike.
If you look at the 2008 Dow Jones stock market chart below, you will see that everytime there appears to be an upturn, it ends up heading back down to a lower point. Yesterday's drop was all out panic as people just wanted out. Some people have bigger balls than others and then some people may be smarter than others too. We will only know in the future when we get there.
Is it time to be buying right now in the midst of this panic? This is where the pro's seperate themselves from the stock market dummies and beginners. The pro's have a plan and they have lots of information as well. That doesn't mean that the professionals will be correct whatever they do, but it does mean that they have a better chance of understanding the market and the sentiment of investors.
For stock market dummies and the average stock market investor, it is extremely difficult to see and understand when the stock market might be approaching its low point. A panic in the stock market is often a good time to pick up a few stocks at an oversold low price and the professionals are good at that because they have the fundamentals in front of them and can more easily estimate a companies true worth. If in a stock market panic sell off a company gets oversold by frightened investors, the hedge fund managers and stock traders may be the ones buying the stock.
Again, there is no way to tell the future and today may have been the stock market low point or it may come sometime in the coming weeks or months. There is still panic in the air and another bad company story may be right around the corner to send the stock market lower. However, we do know that at some point there will be a turn around in the stock market. It may not reverse on a dime and head right back up, but it will turn around in some fashion. At some point we will have all wished we had started buying stocks rather than sitting on our hands and doing nothing. Is that time now? Is it time to start looking for stocks to buy rather than stocks to sell?
There are many different theories on when is the right time to buy into a stock market that seems to just keep going down. Right now, it seems the bad news just keeps on coming and there is no end to the falling stock market.
This is a difficult time for any investor and especially for stock market beginners. Is now the right time to jump in? Should we wait? Should be just keep our money safe in our bank account? Or maybe this is the turning point that will change the stock market forever.
In the 1970's and early 1980's there was a very long period where the stock market did nothing at all. Could we be seeing the beginning of something like that? No one knows, of course, but if history repeats itself then it is still not time to jump back into the stock market.
History has shown that the proper time to jump back in is when the market keeps going down for a protracted period (as is happening now) and then there is a period of one day to several days where it gets REALLY bad. This is something about the stock market for beginners that they would not know or understand.
Yes the stock market has had an awful year and yes it has had some bad days, but it has yet to have a day or two where the market seems to fall off a cliff. I am waiting for that day or two where everybody and their brother are selling every stock all day long. I am waiting for those several days when it seems like the end of the world is coming and that there is no possibility of anything ever recovering. When there is a serious panic in the streets, that is when I will start buying this stock market. That is when the bottom is near and the turn around will happen.
Over the past several decades, people on Wall Street have preached the virtues of stock diversification, drilling it into the minds of every investor within earshot. Even stock market beginners or dummies have heard about diversification. Everyone from the CEO to the delivery boy knows that you shouldn't keep all your eggs in one basket - but there's much more to it than that. You shouldn't go on financial tips alone...you need to diversify and study your options.
The concept of "don't put all your eggs in one basket" is a wise one for those who are unable or unwilling to evaluate the attractiveness of investment opportunities. But as it happens, excessive diversification presents a serious hurdle to wealth building.
There undoubtedly is less risk in holding a concentrated portfolio of well researched investments than holding so many stocks your returns are bound to be nothing more than average. The ideal portfolio size, depending on your net wealth, may be between 5 and 20 stocks. It is better to have a smaller group of well researched and understood stocks than it is to have a sizable laundry list of all the popular companies. For it is much easier to find 5 exceptional opportunities than 25.
This stock market for dummies lesson is about averaging down.
If a stock you have invested in falls in price you have a few options...
You can panic and sell out, hold onto your investment waiting for the stock to rebound, or buy more stock at the now lower prices. The latter is a strategy known as "Averaging Down" because it will bring the average price of your investment down.
It works like this: you buy 100 shares at $100 a share, the price falls to $80 a share and you then buy another 1000 shares which brings your average cost down to $90.
Is this a good strategy?...
It's a bad strategy if the price has dropped because the fundamentals of the company have changed to a significant degree and the stock is now unattractively priced or it was simply a bad investment in the first place.
But if your initial investment was based on sound research and understanding of the company and the fundamentals of the company haven't significantly changed for the worse then it is the best strategy to take. Because if it was good at $100 it's great at $90.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT WITH INBOX STOCKS? I AM GOING TO FIND OUT, AS I DO THIS INBOX STOCKS REVIEW OF THE FREE OFFER. I've just signed up at Inbox Stocks for an interesting free trial offer. You'll be able to type in your name and email address and then, for the next 4 weeks after, you'll receive one free stock pick per week. You can watch along to see if this guy and his service is worth the cost. You will be able to watch live, each week, as his actual stock picks almost double. (he says)
He also claims that his stocks can often rise over 100% within a matter of days. He claims that you can take advantage of a pattern everyday within the first 45 minutes of the stock market's open. This only works for OTC stocks (over the counter).
If you are looking for information about stocks for beginners this might not be great for you as it might be too advanced. Also, this could be a scam but it is free to sign up so I am going to give it a try. Again, that's Inbox Stocks if you want to give it a try. I like stuff that is for free and maybe it will at least give me an investing idea or two.
Here is what has happened so far. I signed up by just giving my name and email and then I immediately got the following letter sent to my email:
"Recently when you read my website (InboxStocks.com) and you decided to subscribe to my newsletter - You took a chance.
I admire that... And... I intend to do everything within my power to make this the best investment you will ever make.
My newsletter is a labor of love. I slave over it like you wouldn't believe.
I want my newsletter to be... by far... the most valuable penny stock investment publication in the entire world.
And so far, I've delivered one penny stock pick per week and have achieved an average 84.795 gain.
This has allowed my subscribers to almost double any money they invest... each and every week!
You should receive your first stock pick, within the next 7days or so... And so that you're ready to take advantage of it, I'll explain the process:
The night before the stock pick, you'll receive what I calla "warning email". This is usually sent at the time the market closes and will explain a little about the pick.
The next morning, roughly 20 minutes prior to the market opening, you'll receive the stock pick.
The "stock pick" always lists vital information, such as the stocks ticker and corporate website at the top of the email.
... The pick however will also be a full report on the reasons I chose the stock, and a background on the company."
That is most of the first letter I got and I am now awaiting the first stock pick. I will never reveal what the stock pick is (that would not be fair as you should do the Inbox Stocks free sign up to get it) but I will tell you what transpires and give you my opinion of the service. I will update this when I have more news.
I got an email this morning from Inbox Stocks but no stock picks yet. The email explained a little about Dave's thoughts on investing but nothing of any real substance.
I have had no further emails for Inbox Stocks. I'm still waiting for the first pick. It's a good thing the sign up is free because not much is going on so far.
Unfortunately, I was on vacation when David released his first stock pick. He released it on Monday morning and claims it was at .36 then. HOWEVER, the stock he picked did not open at .36 but at .48! It did briefly hit .61 and if you had sold it at that instant you would have made a nice gain. However, the stock closed the week at .49 for a total gain for the week of ONE CENT.
This looks to be something that you have to stay glued to your computer for and perhaps sell the instant you have a gain you are happy with. This is definitely not long term value investing. His new email says a new pick will be out next week so I will update then.
The next stock has just been emailed to me and guess what? It is the SAME stock as he picked last time in July. That's right, the same stock as I guess it has since gone back down to it's prior level and now it is David's pick again!
This is a question people just starting out in the stock market may ask. The stock market for dummies could seem like gambling when you pick your first losing stock. So, what is the difference is between gambling and the stock market.
Sometimes it may seem that you can lose just as easily at the stock market as you can at the blackjack table. Ask anyone who has lost money in Enron how they felt after their stock went to zero. You can lose big on a stock but rarely do companies go bankrupt and the stock go to zero.
The difference between pure gambling and buying stocks of companies is that you are betting on the future of the company and you have a track record you can research. If you are invested in many stocks, you might say that you are invested in the future of the country. If something terrible happens to the country, like a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, stocks will go down. If the country flourishes and good times prevail, the stock market will most likely go up. By investing in the stock market you might say that you are betting on our future.
Gambling in a casino is a whole different scenario. There is no casino game that the player has an edge. Just take a look at how big Las Vegas has become to be sure that the house always has the advantage. You might be able to beat the house now and again but over the long run you will lose.
When you buy a stock and it immediately goes down, it might sometimes feel like you are gambling but that is mostly out of frustration. If you do your homework and pick your stocks carefully, you should be able to make money long term in the stock market. The stock market for beginners is a much better place to be "betting" your money than the casinos.
One of the hardest concepts of the stock market for dummies to grasp is what determines the value of a stock. When you buy a stock, you are buying a part of a company. However, that stock price can go up and down drastically sometimes for almost no reason which in turn means the value of the company is going up and down as well.
Lets say you bought some shares of the stock Garmin in the last six months. If you were unlucky and bought it at its high, you might have paid as much as $125.00 and change. Unfortunately if you look at the stock price today, you will see that the price is down to around $43.00. That is a decline of almost two thirds! Wow! This also means that the value of the company went down two thirds as well.
What happened? How can a company be worth only 33% of what it was just5 months ago? Is the company really in that much trouble? Did a hurricane destroy a factory or two? Well, in Garmin's case it is all because the perceived value of the company went down. GPS devices have been very hot for the last 3 years or so and the stock went up steadily because of the perception that Garmin was the industry leader and would sell a lot of units.
Suddenly, with the economy on the downturn and people not spending as much as they did for expendable items, the perception is that Garmin will not sell as many units in the coming years. The company is still doing well right now but everyone believes that things will change. Thus, just because people THINK things might change, the stock goes down and so does the value of the company. The perceived value of the company has gone down.
Stocks can shoot up for the opposite reason when people think a company is in the sweet spot and has a product or technology that will do very well in the future. In that case, the company stock may go through the roof even though they have few sales at this very moment.
Stock prices go up and down daily on what stock market investors perceive the value to be and not necessarily what the company is really worth. It is difficult to fathom this sometimes because you have to change the way you think about investing in stocks. This is another thing that shows that the stock market for beginners is a complicated beast to learn.
The stock market for beginners is easy to get started now that most brokers are online. First you will need to open a stock account and you can easily do that online much like you do anything online nowdays. Once you give them all your information you will need to "fund" your account. That means you will need to put money in it. You generally have two options and the most popular is to write a check and send it in to them. This will usually take about 10 business days before you will see the money show up in your online stockmarket account and be able to trade. The second option is to physically take a check in to the companie's office if they have one in the major city that is nearest you.
Once you have money in your account you are ready to buy a stock which is called trading. The stock market for dummies can be a bit overwhelming at first with all the terminology that is thrown around and it takes some time to learn it. Buying a stock is actually quite easy and most online companies will have a tutorial section to help you out. This tutorial section should help you learn how to buy and sell stocks.
A great place to learn and get information about individual stocks is the ValueLine report which you can find at most any public library. This report comes out every month and will give you analysis of many of the stocks you see daily going by your television stock ticker. This ValueLine report will give any stock market beginner some detailed analysis of every stock that is easy to understand. It has stock charts and detailed reasons why it thinks a stock is a good investment or not.
If you are a stock market for beginner then you need to start slowly and try to understand things one at a time. It is exciting when the stock market goes up and you make money but it is not so fun when your stocks go down. It is often better to buy stocks when they are low so that they have room to go up and make you money. In a down market like 2008 it might be a good time to learn how to buy stocks and start investing in the stock market.
Some companies allow you to buy and sell their stock directly from them. If you choose this method, you will not have to pay any commission to a broker. This is great for stock market beginners and those people who want to buy just a few shares. Many US companies have this sort of plan which is called a Direct Purchase Plan. Many top corporations such as Chevron, Pfizer, JP MorganChase. and others have this type of direct purchase plan for their stock.
It is against the law for companies to advertise these plans so you need to find them yourself. You might contact the investor relations department of the company you wish to buy stock of to find out whether they will allow you to buy their stock directly from them.
When you find a company that does have a direct purchase plan, you should request a prospectus about the program to find out what its limitations are. Some programs require that you already own some stock before you are allowed to purchase more through the program. Many companies allow you to buy more shares with no commissions with the dividends you earn on your existing shares.
If you end up enrolling in their program, you will get a statement every time you make a transaction with them and you will get a 1099 tax form at the end of the year detailing your activity.
Buying stock through a direct purchase plan is a great way to get involved learning how to buy stocks for beginners. Stocks for beginners is something that you will need to invest a lot of time researching and this is just another of the many ways to get involved.
Even if you are new to stock market investing, you have most likely heard the phrase "buy low, sell high" sometime in your life. What that means of course, is that it is best to buy a stock when it is at a low price and then sell it at a higher price. That is how you make money in the stock market.
Why then, is the temptation to do the opposite so strong? Why is it so easy to buy high and sell low? Stocks are different from so many other everyday things. When you go to the store, any kind of store, and you see something on sale you immediately are more inclined to buy it. When things go on sale you save money and are thus more inclined to buy. If a dress was $100.00 yeasterday and $80.00 today, it is still the same dress but now you are more apt to buy it.
Stocks and the mentality of stocks seem to work differently. When the stock market is going up as a whole, and individual stocks keep getting more expensive. the tendency is to want to jump in so as to not miss the boat. When any stock XYZ was $50 a month ago, $55 a week ago, and now today at $60.00, investers sort of panic for fear of missing out. Technically, the stock is more expensive today than it was a month ago and yet many people can't wait to buy at the higher price!
Conversely, a stock that is going down is cheaper today than it was a month ago. Yet most stock market investors find it more difficult to buy that stock for fear that it will go down more and they will look silly. They also fear that because the stock is going down that the value of the company is going down. Sometimes that is correct and sometimes it is not.
All I know is that everytime the stock market has gone down significantly, as it has this year in 2008 so far, if I would have pulled the trigger and bought a whole bunch of stocks, I would have made money. Unfortunately I am like most other people and have found that buying stocks in a down market is a very difficult thing to do.
One of the absolute most difficult things about the stock market for beginners is owning stock in a down market. Today is March 1, 2008 and we have just had the 4th losing month in a row for the stock market, a first since 2002. The Dow lost over 300 points yesterday and things are not looking rosy.
It is times like this that it is difficult to be involved in stock investing. Many people who have little experience tend to panic when the stock market goes down so much. It is hard to know what to do. It is difficult to sit by and watch all your stocks and hard earned money go down almost every day.
This is stock market investors learn about own risk tolerance. Some people are better able to deal with the daily ups and downs of the stock market than others. If you are one of those people that likes to know that your money is always safe, perhaps stock market trading is not for you. However, if you can deal with losing your money day after day in hard times, and perhaps even buy more stock when that is happening, then investing in the stock market could be the right thing for you.
The stock market for dummies is a tough place to be in down times. Over time, you will learn to deal with the level of risk tolerance that you feel comfortable with.
When you log into your account to buy or sell a stock (see how to buy a stock), you will have to choose what type of order you want to place. The standard options are "market", "limit", "stop", and "stop limit". Most of the time you should pick the "market" option as that just means you want to get the market price for your stock. In other words, you want what ever price is the going price at the moment you are placing your order.
The stock market for beginners is a hard enough place without trying to get too tricky. When you want to either buy or sell a stock at a certain price that is when you use the "limit" option. Let's say that you have 100 shares of XYZ Corp. and you bought those shares at $20.00. Right now the price of the stock is $24.12 so you do have a gain but you would like a little more. If you can, you would like to sell the stock at $25.00.
Rather than wait all day and monitoring the stock market every 5 minutes, all you have to do is to place a "limit" order to sell your stock at $25.00. That means, if the price of the stock ever hits $25.00 for that day, your order to sell will be initiated and the sale will be made. If the stock does not ever reach that $25.00 mark, nothing will happen and you will still own the stock.
The same can be done on the low side. If you want to sell the stock at no lower than $23.00, you can place your order to sell if the stock goes down and hits $23.00. That way, you will still have a gain and you protect yourself from losing more if your stock continues to drop. Stock market investing is complicated for the beginner because of all the different terminology. Once you learn what all the words mean though, it is not as hard as you might think.
A bull market is when everyone is positive about the stock market and wants to buy stocks. A bear market is the opposite as the stock market keeps going down no matter what and people want to sell.
The stock market for beginners is a place where you need to pay attention to what is going on. During a bull market, you can probably make money from almost any stock. Everyone will want to give you their stock pick and chances are the stock will go up. All the pundits on TV will be pumping out their stock picks and you can most likely make money on any of them. Even your hair stylist may want to give you a stock tip.
If you start investing in stocks during a bull market you may get over confident. You may make money right away and think it is easy. This is something to be weary about if you are just starting to invest in stocks. It is not easy and things can turn around in a day.
During a bull market, everyone wants to sell. The stocks you own may go down 4 out of every 5 days. You will be confused and want to sell and wonder whether you should. Remember 9/11 when the stock market went down huge and kept going down for months after? Do you sell or do you hold? Will the stock market ever turn around? Do you buy more at a lower price? These are just a few of the questions that you will be faced with in a bear market.
Most of the time the market is somewhere in between a bull and bear market. Usually the better stocks go up over time and the stocks of companies doing poorly go down. It is best to always try to pick stocks of companies that are doing well or will do well. The stock market for dummies can be a confusing and scary place that takes a lot of time and experience to get used to.
One of the hardest decisions for any investor is when to sell a stock. The stock maket for beginners is very confusing and you are required to make many decisions.
Deciding what stock to buy and when to buy it are also difficult, but before you do you have no stake at risk. Doing nothing does not impact your money either way...you still will have the same amount. Yes, you can feel stressed if you don't buy and the stock goes up but in the end you still will not have lost a dime.
It is different once you own a stock. If the stock is going down, you are losing money. Should you sell and jump off? Should you wait it out? If you have a gain should you sell and protect the gain? If you have a loss should you sell and minimize the loss in case the stock keeps going down?
If the stock is going up you have the same set of decisions. At what point do you cash out and take your gain? If your stock is going up and you don't sell, it may reverse course and go back down erasing your gain. Or, if you sell now, the stock may continue up and you will not make as much as you could of.
When to sell a stock market stock is the age old question that will never be answered. Whatever you do, it will probably be wrong in some time horizon. The best thing you can do is to pick a price you feel comfortable with before hand, and when your stock reaches that point either up or down, you sell your stock. That way you can live with your decision and the stock market for dummies will be a little less stressful.
Lets say you bought and sold your first stock and made a gain. Please see stock market for dummies. Congratulations!....but you now owe taxes.
That's right, you know the saying "there are only two things guaranteed in life......death and taxes". The IRS want their cut of that gain you just made so be sure to keep all records. When tax time comes you are going to have to fill out Schedule D and report your gain. If you are going to be investing in the stock market you are going to have to keep track of each transaction whether it is a gain or a loss.
Every stock sale you make, including losses, is going to have to go on that Schedule D. If you are going to trade stock, you have to understand and accept this. There is no getting around it as the brokerage companies are required by law to report all your transactions to the IRS. If your records do not match what is reported, this will trigger a red flag and you may very well be audited. If not audited, you will at least be contacted by the IRS and told that your records don't match what was reported by the IRS. Can penalties be far behind?
If you sell stock and have a loss for the year, you can use up to $3,000.00 of that loss. If your stock trading loss was bigger than $3000.00, the amount over that has to be carried over until next year. The stock market for beginners is hard enough before you add in the taxes. Unfortunately, the government doesn't care.
Stock Market For Dummies Lesson 7 - Most people who own stocks now have a broker account online. Every major brokerage firm will allow you to see your account online and to make your stock trades online. To learn more about stocks and buying them online, please see how to buy stocks online where you will see how easy it is to do.
In years past before the computer, you had to pick up the phone and tell your broker what you wanted him to do. Along with the personal service came higher commissions to buy and sell stocks that in today's online world.
In addition to the major brokers there are online brokers that are very reputable as well. Combined they control and manage billions of dollars and they are all insured by FDIC. Here is a short list of some of the biggest online brokers you may want to consider:E Trade
The stock market for beginners is a often confusing so you must do some studying before you jump in. Once you learn a little though, the advent of the online broker makes it easy to get started and make your first stock trades.
Stock Market For Beginners Lesson 6 - At some point in time, you will want to sell your stock. You will do much the same as you did when you bought stock. Sign into your account and this time find the button by your stock that says "sell".
Fill in the numbe of shares that you want to sell and again pick the option that says "market". Click the "confirm" button a couple of times and you will have sucessfully sold your stock. Again, you should shortly get some confirmation that your stock was sold and at what price.
You will now have completed stock market trading for a second time. Hopefully, you were able to sell your stock for a gain, (in which case you owe taxes on the profit amount) but you also could have sold it for a loss. If you sold it for a loss you will of course not have to pay any tax.
It is important to keep both records of your buy and sell for your recordkeeping and tax purposes. Your broker is required by law to send all trading information to the IRS so you cannot get away without paying taxes on your gain if you have one. The more trades you make, you will have gains on some of your stock market trades and losses on others. This will make your taxes more complicated to prepare but if you want to continue with stock market investing, it is just something that you will have to get used to. The stock market for dummies can be intimidating esecially when you add in the tax component.
Stock Market For Beginners Lesson 5 - Now that you have decided to invest in the stock market and you own a stock, you will want to keep a close eye on it. The stock you own will go up and/or down everyday. That is normal and hopefully for you it will spend more time going up than down.
You can check your account anytime for a stock market quote, and you will need to figure out how long you want to keep your stock. You can get stock market advice like this by finding people who have recommended the stock you own. See what they say about your stock. Do they give you their target price? If so, what is it and do you want to hold on to your stock until it reaches that price? At some point you are going to want to sell stock and figuring out when is the right time may be the most difficult decision of all.
Your stock may also go down. In a down market, the stock market prices of most stocks goes down. If you buy a stock and it starts to go down, how long do you want to continue to hold on to that stock? The stock market for beginners is sometimes very difficult to get used to and to figure out. You will need to get used to your tolerance level as some people do not like to lose money for any reason. For those types of people, stock market investing may not be for them. Perhaps they should invest in a safe bank CD
Stock Market For Beginners Lesson 4 - Once you have money in your account, you can now invest in the stock market and buy stock. Since this is 2008 and everything is very simple online, we will assume you are going to want to learn how to buy stocks for beginners online.
When you go into your online account with whatever online stock broker you have chosen, you will get a user account number or name and a password. It will be just the same as any other account you may have on the Internet.
You will want to buy your first stock and you will probably have decided on a stock by reading the newspaper and other stock market news. You can find stock market advice almost everywhere now days. There are many TV shows you can watch where the "experts" make their picks, magazines, radio shows, and many Internet sites all offering free stock market advice and picks.
To buy your stock you need to put in your stocks symbol which will pull up some numerical information about that stock (stock market quote) as well as some news stories. There will be a "buy" and "sell" button and you will click the buy button.
You will then fill in how many shares you want to buy, pick the "market" option, and your stock will be bought for you . You should momentarily see some confirmation that the stock has been purchased and at what price.
Congratulations! The stock market for dummies might have seemed complicated but you have just bought your first stock!
Investing in the stock market is not very hard but you do have to pick an online broker and open an account. There are many online discount brokers and one of the best for beginner investors is TradeKing. This is because their fees are low and there are no account minimums.
Generally, if you have less than $1,000 to invest in stocks, I would say don't bother but with TradeKing you can open an account for what you have, no matter how little it is. This makes them a great choice for anyone who wants to set up their first stock account online.
You always have to be prepared to lose money in stocks because it can happen with any stocks you pick. No stock goes up all the time and your investment strategy should be to find companies that are solid, have good products that people like, and are well poised to make money in the future. Invest money for the long term if you want to have the best chance of making money and overcoming all the ups and downs the market goes through.
Stock Market For Dummies Lesson 2 - The stock market is a strange beast and the longer you are stock market investing the more you realize this. If a company is making a lot of money, logic dictates that the stock price will be high or at least going up. This is not always the case, however, as the one thing you must understand is that supply and demand is the most important determinant of a stock's price.
Even if a company is making lots of money today, they might have told investors that the future does not look so bright. If in the future sales are expected to slow down, many people may not want the stock and may want to sell it. In this case, even though the company is doing well at this moment, it might not do as well in the future. This makes people want to sell and the stock price go down.
Conversly, if a new technology is on the horizon, a brand new company may be making very little money right now today but the future looks very bright. At some future time this company may make a ton of money and so people want to invest in stock today in anticipation of what might happen tomorrow.
This is one of the most important concepts of the stock market for beginners to understand. There is no set price or guideline for a stock's price. Stock market investing and the price of a stock is solely determined by what people perceive the value to be.
Stock Market For Dummies Lesson 1 - The stock market is a trading exchange where you can buy and sell shares of stock of different companies. The price of every company's stock is driven by supply (the number of shares available) and demand (the number of shares people want to buy).
If you like a company and think they will do well in the future, you will want to buy stock. However, if other people think the same way and also want to buy that company's stock, the stock price will go up because there will be lots of people wanting to buy (demand).
In just the opposite way, if a company is perceived to be doing poorly, there will probably be very few people wanting to buy the stock and more people wanting to sell it. In this case, the price of the stock will go down because there will be more sellers (supply) than buyers (demand).
Stock Market investing takes place mostly at the two biggest exchanges which are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq. These two exchanges handle the bulk of the
trades. You can invest in stock market by buying stock through a telephone call to your broker or by making the trades yourself on your computer. Being able to make a stock trade yourself online is something that has only been possible in the last 10 years or so.
The best way to learn about the stock market for beginners is to read as much as you can. Understanding the stock market is a big task and there are many free resourses on the Internet including this website.
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